Sanibel & Captiva Island

Sanibel Island and its northbound neighbor Captiva Island—both known for their classy vacation resorts, harbors and golf courses—are located off Lee County Coast in the Gulf of Mexico. Due to the modest construction, these islands still retain the charm of old-style seaside resorts.

Prior to 1963, the islands were not accessible by car. Nature reserves account for about 40 percent of the 18.6 mile (30 km) long islands.

J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island

The J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island is a 5,200 acre (21 km?2;) wildlife refuge that is home to about 300 different species of birds.

Even though cars are permitted in the wildlife refuge, we recommend taking nature hikes or exploring the refuge by bicycle. Some of the waterways are even suitable for canoeing.

Sanibel and Captiva Islands have a network of well-developed bike trails, but the islands are also serviced by a trolley bus. The beaches are fairly uncrowded. Turner and Bowman's Beach and Captiva Beach are among the most beautiful beaches in this area. Although the islands are easily accessible, they still retain a laid-back Caribbean-style atmosphere.

If you like to unwind and enjoy shelling, these are the perfect beaches for you. With 400 species of shells that wash up against the islands' shores, the Barrier Islands Sanibel and Captiva, connected by a bridge, are a rarity.

Most visitors start looking for perfectly preserved opalescent shells and soon fall victim to the doubled-over stance of shellers that has been dubbed the “Sanibel Stoop”. Those who would like to precisely identify their shells can buy so-called “shelling checklists” on the island.

Sanibel and Captiva Islands are also a paradise for avid water sports fans. Apart from canoeing and boating, the area around the lighthouse at the southernmost tip of Sanibel Island offers ideal conditions for kite-surfing. Especially at breezy days or weekends, kite-surfing enthusiasts meet at the beach to practice this sport.

The compelling combination of beaches, exotic animals, lush vegetation and magnificent sunsets make Sanibel and Captiva Islands an unforgettable experience for visitors.

Sanibel & Captiva Island, Florida - Impressions

Sanibel & Captiva Island, Florida
Sanibel & Captiva Island, Florida
Sanibel & Captiva Island, Florida
Sanibel & Captiva Island, Florida
Sanibel & Captiva Island, Florida
Sanibel & Captiva Island, Florida
Sanibel & Captiva Island, Florida
Sanibel & Captiva Island, Florida